A Northumbria Police road safety team that developed a unique intelligence grading system for serious road offenders has won a national award.
Operation Dragoon – which featured in ITV primetime show Car Wars – works to protect road users through a specially developed programme of enforcement, engagement and education.
Sergeant Phil Patterson accepted the Outstanding Contribution to Roads Policing 2017 award on behalf of his team for its efforts in making the region’s roads safer at the annual Roads Policing Conference in Leicestershire.
Through their work, members of Operation Dragoon identify and target those who present the biggest risk to the public on our roads and have developed and run a programme of road safety education resources available for all young people.
The team has arrested more than 150 high-profile targets, handed out more than 250 summons, acquired more than £20,000 in fines, disqualified drivers for a total of 140 years and racked up 34 years’ worth of custodial sentences through successful prosecutions.
Sgt Patterson said: “This is down to the hard work of my team, who have worked tirelessly to safeguard the public from dangerous and persistent road offenders.
“The safety of the public is at the forefront of everything they do.
“This award is gratefully accepted, and dedicated to the team that I work with. Operation Dragoon has been recognised, both nationally and internationally, as the way forward to target dangerous and criminal behaviour on the roads, and we hope this can be replicated by other policing authorities.”
Jayne Willetts, roads policing lead for the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: “I’m extremely impressed with the standard of the nominations this year, which made it very difficult to choose an absolute winner.
“Everybody that was nominated should be very proud. However, Operation Dragoon were absolutely outstanding.
“Their contribution to roads policing, in enforcement and education, is a model that other forces should aim to follow.”
The Operation Dragoon team is made up of three branches: Enforcement, engagement and education.
Since 2014, it has made significant efforts to increase the safety of all road users through educational campaigns, engaging with car enthusiast communities and by targeting high risk drivers on the region’s roads.
If anyone suspects anyone of dangerous driving, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or driving while on their mobile phone, they can contact the team by calling 101.